Most people know what printed articles in popular magazines look like. They can, however, be harder to recognize when they’re online, especialy when they’re in HTML format instead of PDF.

Magazine Article in HTML Format

Title and Database: This information is not part of the article itself, but has been supplied by the database from which this article was retrieved, Academic Search Complete.

Publication Information (in the Title and Database section):  Magazines such as Time are aimed at a general audience (as many subscribers as they can get!), not at experts or practitioners in a field. Note that there are a few popular magazines such as Ladies’ Home Journal or Farm Journal that have “Journal” in their title but are definitely not scholarly journals.

General appearance: In printed form (or PDF files) are usually very visual: lots of graphics, color, advertisements. Articles are usually short and lacking bibliographies or references. In this HTML version of the article, there is an indication that the original article has a photo, but it does not appear in this version.

Author’s name and affiliation:The author’s name is given, but there’s no way to tell what her background or affiliation is. Most popular magazine articles are written by staff writers or freelancers, not subject experts.

The end of the article: The end of this particular article contains the author’s name, nothing more. There is no way at all to tell where she got her information or how reliable it might be.